14 February, 2023
Local traffic, road issues on the radar
SEVERAL road and traffic issues including road widening for Springmount Road, a new drop off zone for St Thomas’ School, an upgrade to the Kmart to Coles pedestrian crossing are all being discussed in high level conversations between Mareeba Shire Council and the Department of Transport and Main Roads.
Council’s Traffic Advisory Committee (TAC) meets regularly with the Department of Transport and Main Roads, local police and other stakeholders where traffic issues and upcoming works are discussed.
Complaints by truck drivers travelling the small, windy Springmount Road out-side of Mareeba sparked widening works to commence on the route.
Many heavy vehicles that travel through the road to deliver to the Tableland Sugar Mill have been fined by police for driving over the middle white lines.
TAC chair Kevin Davies said the nature of the road meant many truck drivers were forced to drive over the middle lines lest they found themselves off the road.
Construction was scheduled for this January, however due to the current wet weather, the works have been delayed.
“Preliminary works have been done there but it is too wet at the moment,” Cr Davies said.
“The narrowness of the road is causing issues especially for the sugar mill and other heavy vehicles traveling the road.
“You cannot go around the corners without crossing the lines.”
Council has also sought funding through the department for several projects around St Thomas’ School in Mareeba including improved lighting for a pedestrian crossing and a new drop-off zone.
The drop-off zone is still in the design phase but it will be constructed down Hastie Street that runs alongside the school.
“There is not enough parking there for the school and it becomes very congested – a lot of the parents go there early and park and stay to pick their kids up,” Cr Davies said.
“So, there will be a stop, drop and go zone there where you can only park for two minutes.”
Additional lighting is also to be installed to properly illuminate the existing pedestrian crossing on Hastie Street.
The works at St Thomas’ are being slated for 2023/24 depending on allocation of funding from the department.
The pedestrian crossing from Kmart to Coles on Walsh Street is also under investigation with plans for it to be moved further along towards Curcio’s Bakery.
This would allow cars coming out of the Kmart car park not having to pause and wait for pedestrians as well as other vehicles.